Sedgwick, Amy (DNB01)

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SEDGWICK, AMY (afterwards Mrs. Parkes, Mrs. Pemberton, and Mrs. Goostry) (1830–1897), actress, was born in Bristol in October 1830. After acting as an amateur in London in 1852, it is said under the name of Mortimer, she appeared at Richmond theatre as Julia in the 'Hunchback.' She was then seen at Bristol as Mrs. White in the farce of that name, and at Cardiff as Pauline in the ' Lady of Lyons.' After playing in various Yorkshire towns she was engaged by Knowles for three seasons at Manchester, where she became a favourite. Her first appearance in London was made on 5 Oct. 1857 as Pauline in the 'Lady of Lyons' at the Haymarket, where on the 13th she played Constance in the 'Love Chase.' On 7 Nov. she was the first Hester Grazebrook in Taylor's 'Unequal Match,' a part with which she was ever after associated. Beatrice in 'Much Ado about Nothing' followed in February 1858, Julia in the 'Hunchback' on 1 March, and on 30 June Lady Teazle. Subsequently she was seen as Juliana in the 'Honeymoon,' was on 12 March 1859 the original Kate Robertson in Palgrave Simpson's 'The World and the Stage,' and played Rosalind, Peg Woffington, Miss Dorillon in 'Wives as they were and Maids as they are,' Mrs. Haller in the 'Stranger,' and Marie de Fontanges in 'Plot and Passion.' On 9 May 1860 she was the first Una in Falconer's 'Family Secret,' on 23 June Miss Vandeleur in 'Does he love me?' by the same writer, and Lady Blanche in Taylor's 'Babes in the Wood' on 10 Nov. In 1861 she was at the Olympic, where she was the first Mrs. Bloomly in H. Wigan's 'Charming Woman' on 20 June. At the Princess's she was on 19 Feb. 1863 the first Orelia in Lewis Filmore's 'Winning Suit.'

She was also the first Phoebe Topper in 'One Good Turn deserves another,' and Aurora Ffloyd in Mr. Cheltnam's adaptation so named. In 1866 she managed the Haymarket during a summer season, and on 2 Oct. at Drury Lane played Lady Macbeth to the Macbeth of Sullivan, and afterwards to that of H. Talbot. At the Haymarket she was on 8 July 1867 the first Blanche de Raincourt in Mead's adaptation, the 'Coquette.' On 10 Oct. 1868, as directress under H. B. Lacy, she opened the Marylebone, renamed the Alfred, with 'Pindee Singh' by C. H. Stephenson, in which she was Pindee Singh. The experiment was a failure. In Miss Le Thiere's 'All for Money,' Haymarket, 12 July 1869, she was the first Ida Fitzhubert. Her last appearance in London was at the Havmarket as Constance in the 'Love Chase' (May 1877). She instructed pupils and gave dramatic recitals, reading more than once before Queen Victoria. Miss Sedgwick married in 1858 Dr. W. B. Parkes, who died in 1863. She was subsequently known (1876) as Mrs. Pemberton. She then married Mr. Goostry. Her portrait as Constance was presented to the corporation of Brighton, where she lived for some years. Subsequently she removed to Hayward's Heath, where she died on 7 Nov. 1897, and was buried on the 11th. She was a capable actress, though she failed to reach the first rank.

[Personal knowledge; The Players, 1860; Scott and Howard's Blanchard; Daily Telegraph, 9 Nov. 1897; Era, 13 Nov. 1897; Athenæum, 13 Nov. 1897; Era Almanack, various years; Sunday Times, various years; Pascoe's Dramatic List.]

J. K.